As for Israel during this period, though God has withdrawn Himself from them as a nation, He has not totally cast them away. All Jews who believe in Him and in His son are saved just as anyone who believes. They are “a remnant according to the election of grace” (Rom. 11:5).
Moreover, all believers during this period, whether Jews or Gentiles, enter into the kingdom of God and of His Son by their new birth (Col. 1:13). This kingdom which we enjoy now is of course the spiritual dimension of the kingdom—where Christ rules and reigns in every believer’s heart, where He has blessed us with His presence and love, and where He has granted us forgiveness of sins based on our redemption, which He purchased with His blood (Col. 1:13-14).
With that said, be careful to understand that the church is not, nor ever will be the physical or earthly kingdom that fulfills the prophecies of the Word regarding the kingdom. The church, in Christ, brings us into His spiritual kingdom, but the reigning of Christ on earth will be established solely through the Jewish nation and people when they are saved at the time of Christ’s return. It is at that time that God fulfills His covenants with Israel. Until that time, all of us who believe in Him (the church) anticipate His coming and the setting up of His kingdom on earth.
The period of the church (on earth) will end on that great day which we call “the rapture,” when all believers in Christ, living and dead, are snatched up by the Lord to be with Him in heaven. What transpires on earth for the next seven years (though there could possibly be a short delay) is called in scripture “the tribulation.”
Next post: The Kingdom of God during the Tribulation
Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Nielsen